Book Reviews

Stillness is the Key – Ryan Holiday

Stillness is the Key book cover
Posted by JoshWhit

Modern problems call for modern – er – classic solutions. At least that is the belief by Ryan Holiday in his book Stillness is the Key.

Ryan Holiday is a well-known personality in the self-help nonfiction book world. He is most well-known for his reinvigoration of stoicism into modern life. He is of the belief that a lot of modern people will be most helped if they just initiate in a bit of stoic philosophy.

Holiday is a college dropout. He has said in interviews that he didn’t see the point in going to college to be a writer, as was his goal, and learning about writing and philosophies from college professors when he could actually go straight to the source and read some of the greatest philosophers of all time – philosophers like Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus.

Ryan Holiday took the information he learned from these great philosophers of history and wrote about how it can be applied to the modern-day busy life. Not only does he say, “slowing down is good,” but he expands and shows how to slow down and why it’s important.

Stillness is the Key is a huge criticism of how life has gotten busier and busier as we’ve advanced as a society. Keep in mind, he isn’t saying that people are bad for living a fast-paced lifestyle. Holiday is saying that you need to slow down and take stock of everything before believing everything you see and read in the news; don’t always just take a friend telling you something at face value; sit and contemplate whether what is being said even makes sense.

Holiday does a good job of taking a complex concept and distilling it to the title: Stillness is the Key.

Just saying slow down and consider the outside factors is good advice. But Holiday shows why it is so important. He wrote a book in 2012 called Trust Me I’m Lying, but that wasn’t clear enough of a message. It was all about how the media is able to manipulate the mass public to a degree. He even went so far as to be used as a reference in a New York Times article about vinyl records, even though the only information he knew about vinyl records was based on an article that New York Times had published years before.

The point of Stillness is the Key is to remind everyone that you can’t always trust the mainstream media. You can’t always take what people say at face value. You need to be able to think things through and come to your own conclusion.

Ryan Holiday’s book is especially important to our modern situation with the COVID pandemic and the media saying it’s the worst thing to ever happen in history and it’s all the President’s fault, while at the same time, you hear the other side of politics screaming about how people need to quit rioting and the pandemic isn’t even real. When the reality of the situation is both sides have truth to them. It’s important to take stock and sit back before making any decisions.

That being said, I highly recommend Stillness is the Key. It’s a fantastic book that offers benefits to everyone. It teaches HOW to think instead of the popular topic of WHAT to think.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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